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Only exporting countries will benefit from AFCFTA–Expert

Only exporting countries will benefit significantly from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA), a financial consultant, Mrs Lolade Adesola, has said.
Adesola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  in Ibadan on Wednesday that the trade agreement was all about trade liberalisation and removal of customs duties for members of the African Union (AU).
“ What the agreement means is that Nigeria will shift her source of importation from Europe or Asia to African countries.
“When we import from African countries,  the country we import from will not pay custom duties.
“But if we import from the United Kingdom or China there will be payment of customs duties.
“ Not only are we just exchanging our source of import, we are now losing income because customs duties collectible from the British goods or Chinese goods will not be payable if we patronise African countries.
“The issue for us is to look at how well we are in doing in manufacturing and how well we are in terms of our pricing.
“Our pricing is very high in Nigeria as imported goods are cheaper than the locally produced ones.
“If the price is high,  we cannot tell the man in Kenya to import from Nigeria if he is going to get it at a cheaper price in Sudan or Egypt.
“So we need to look at our cost of production, our own value chain and what makes it  so expensive for us to produce goods in Nigeria, ” Adesola said
She commended the on-going consultations by the Federal Government with stakeholders such as labour  and the private sector on the agreement.
Adesola added that the trade agreement has many hurdles to cross before coming into effect in each country ’s national assembly in addition to approval by  the Heads of Government.

 She maintained that Nigeria must boost its export if it must benefit from the agreement.